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Comments on Government Comments on Planning Complaints - Bus Services Feedback Information Local Councils LPKP / CVLB SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Taxi Transit Demand Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure

Bus system improvements to include a little bit of London and a little bit of Kelantan?

TRANSIT took note of this very interesting interview in the NST with SPAD CEO Mohd Nur Kamal, discussing the bus transformation plan and proposals for implementation of improved bus services.

It is interesting to note that SPAD is learning from London and will be applying their knowledge in Kelantan.

Bus system to go London style? (NST)

26 February 2012

Mohd Nur Kamal, chief executive of the Land Public Transport Commission which just turned 1 in January, tells Tan Choe Choe that his agency is looking at several options but more time is needed to come up with the best solution to the national bus crisis.

SPAD CEO Mohd Nur Kamal. Image courtesy of NST.
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Chartered/Tour Bus Comments on Government Comments on Planning Complaints - Bus Services Express Bus (Intercity) Express Bus (Intra-Urban) Feedback Information News & Events Safety, Health and Environment Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Facilities Transit-Oriented Development

30% of Malaysian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders, says survey

TRANSIT members were shocked and disappointed to read the news in The Star today, which shared the results of a survey by the Sleep Disorder Society of Malaysia and the JKJR which showed that a significant number of Malaysian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders.

30% of M’sian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders (The Star)
Saturday February 18, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Sleeping disorders affect 30 percent of 300 bus drivers in the country, with eight percent categorised as chronic, raising fears about their driving performance.

Sleep Disorder Society Malaysia (SDSM) president Dr Muhammad Muhsin Ahmad Zahari said the statistics were obtained in a joint study with the Road Safety Department (JKJR) recently.

“The survey was carried out on 300 bus drivers from five transport companies nationwide and what shocked us the most was that eight percent are at a severe level,” he told Bernama at the Sleep Disorder Society Malaysia (SDSM) Scientific Meeting – Towards Healthier Sleep in Malaysia event, here on Saturday.

[TRANSIT: We want to know which companies!]

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Bicycle Bus Rapid Transit Comments on Government Comments on Planning Community Shuttle Bus Commuter Train (EMU) Express Bus (Intra-Urban) Feedback Information KTM Electric Train Service KTM Komuter (Klang Valley) Local Councils Mass Transit (LRT/MRT/METRO) Monorail News & Events Pedestrian RapidKL RapidPenang Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Taxi Tram TRANSIT - Commentary Transit Demand Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure Transit Operators

‘Solutions’ to public transport problems focusing on the bus industry, not public transport users

By now everyone should be aware that a major crisis is taking place in the bus industry.

The shut down of CityLiner bus services throughout was the major ‘tipping pint’ in a series of crises [TRANSIT: refer to our “No Bus for You” series of posts] that showed the precarious state of public transport and the bus industry – and made it clear that SPAD has lost the plot by focusing on the MRT project rather than revamping & transforming public transport.

The nation-wide collapse of bus services are continuing, despite the recent announcement that the Malaysian Government has approved an RM400mn fund for public transport operators. Applications for this fund began earlier this week and SPAD intends to release the first Rm100mn as soon as possible.

TRANSIT notes that the government is stepping in with the financial aid to bus operators. We also note that Prasarana-RapidKL have talked about improving cooperation (actually, we should say “starting” cooperation) with private bus operators to reduce wasteful competition on different routes. At the same time, taxi drivers and other bus companies are benefiting from the lack of competition in the Klang area since CityLiner shut down bus services, affecting thousands of public transport users.

However, we need the government, SPAD and Prasarana-RapidKL to acknowledge that their “solutions” are not holistic and not sustainable. The problem is that they are focusing on short-term solutions for the crisis, not long-term solutions that will make public transport work, sustainably and effectively, and most importantly, meet the needs of public transport users.

And this, ladies & gentlemen, is the biggest problem. Everyone talks about fixing public transport but all the solutions that are put forward focus on the bus industry, rather than the public transport service. What’s worse is that the ‘solutions’ still fail to consider the needs of the public transport users.

Read about TRANSIT’s take on the issues and a proposed action plan after the jump!

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Comments on Planning Economic Planning Unit Feedback Information Local Councils Planning RapidKL RapidPenang Setara Jaya (SJ) Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Demand Transit Facilities

Prasarana proposes cooperation and “code share” system for Klang Valley bus operators (Update #1)

Update: The response from bus operators & government is mixed!

Yesterday TRANSIT learned of a proposal from Prasarana, the government-owned “National Infrastructure Company” to introduce a cooperative system between bus operators, where bus operators would share information, operate routes together under “code sharing” agreements, and implement “blue ocean strategy” to rationalize their operations.

We were immediately surprised and intrigued by the possibilities … and wary of the risks.

The public transport industry in Malaysia is in crisis. Part of the reason for this is because there is no holistic understanding within the government and among the public of what public transport is (a public utility), what it does (stimulates and ensures productivity and economic growth), and what it provides (mobility and access).

Malaysia has no National Public Transport Strategy or any form of cohesive public transport strategy except for “build infrastructure” and “subsidize or buy out when necessary.” And we should mention that to many Malaysians both of those “strategies” have the unfortunate subtext of “enrich cronies.”

What makes things worse is that there is no clear interest in improving public transport services or approaching (and appreciating) public transport as a public utility with economic & social benefits. The public does not seem to be aware and the state & local governments did not seem to care.

Until the crisis started, that is.

Now state governments are being forced to take notice and ensure that there are solutions to the problems in the industry. Unfortunately, they do not have the knowledge, experience or the tools to ensure these solutions will work.

SPAD has asked state governments to do whatever they can to resolve the problems in the short term. The Governments of Penang and Negri Sembilan have stepped in with subsidies. Prasarana’s proposal for cooperation might represent an alternative way of doing things – but the big question is, Will private operators want to work with a government-owned asset-owner-cum-operator that receives capital & operational subsidy from the federal government and appears to be actively competing with private operators on any number of routes?

And more importantly, will corporate collaboration work effectively and meet the needs of the public transport users?

More information, articles & comments after the jump!

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Comments on Government Comments on Planning Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Demand

No (CityLiner) bus for you Kedah & Pahang!

TRANSIT took note of this disturbing news, the shut down of bus services by CityLiner in Kedah and Pahang.

The company operating bus services under the CityLiner brand (a brand owned by Konsortium Transnasional Berhad) in various states throughout Peninsular Malaysia

Earlier last month, CityLiner services in Negri Sembilan were shut down for a 1 week period because of similar ‘continuous losses.’ The services resumed on 21 November after SPAD and the Negri Sembilan state government intervened. There was also a threat to shut down services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November but this shutdown was put on temporary hold until the end of November.

TRANSIT is looking for more information on what is happening up in Penang – as well as Kedah & Pahang – but the fact is that there isn’t much that can be done. If SPAD is not able to step in fast enough to prevent services from being shut down (even temporarily) then we are going to continue to face serious problems within the public transport industry in the foreseeable future.

Cityliner halts services in Kedah and Pahang due to ‘continuous losses’ (The Star)
Friday December 2, 2011
By ISABELLE LAI and ROSLINA MOHAMAD

KUALA LUMPUR: Stage bus services in major parts of Kedah and Pahang will temporarily cease from today because their operations are no longer sustainable due to continuous losses, Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) announced.

Its executive director and chief executive officer Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim said these were routes plied by KTB’s stage bus operator Cityliner, which has suffered RM30mil in losses so far this year.

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Bus Rapid Transit Comments on Government Comments on Planning Feedback Local Councils News & Events Planning SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Taxi Transit Facilities Transit Infrastructure Transit-Oriented Development

Brickfields contra-flow bus & taxi lane to begin operation this weekend, from 3 December 2011

Update: Read more about the fallout from the Brickfields bus & taxi lane here!

TRANSIT took note of this article that states that the Brickfields contra-flow bus & taxi lane will be introduced this weekend.

The southbound lane, which had been under construction since earlier this year, was supposed to open in August, but protests from area business owners led to the implementation being pushed back to after Deepavali.

Contra-flow system takes effect (Streets – NST)

30 November 2011

PARKING bays in Jalan Tun Sambanthan and around shop lots in Little India will no longer be available to motorists from this weekend.

The new contra-flow bus & taxi lane in Brickfields. Image courtesy of the NST.
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Comments on Government Comments on Planning Complaints - Bus Services Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Planning Safety, Health and Environment Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation

No bus for you, Sebarang Prai (as of 21 November). Watch out, Kedah & Perak. You might be next! (Update #2)

  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that the Penang Government will provide subsidy to CityLiner!
  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that CityLiner bus services will operate until the end of November, and that CityLiner is in talks with the Penang Government to resolve the issues facing their operations in the state!

TRANSIT has learned that Konsortium Transnasional Berhad will stop CityLiner stage bus services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November 2011 – this coming Monday.

We urge public transport users in Sebarang Prai who rely on CityLiner bus routes to make alternative transport plans immediately – so that they are prepared if and when the shut down takes place.

And since SPAD has already been caught flat-footed by the shutdown of CityLiner bus services in Negri Sembilan, as well as the threatened shutdowns in Kedah, problems in Perak, Melaka and Kelantan, and other issues … well, we do not see any solutions coming anytime soon.

The public transport industry has been in pain for  a long time. Sadly, while the government has changed from two ineffective “doctors” (CVLB & Department of Railways) to one unproven “doctor” (SPAD), they have done very little to alleviate the pain.

Sure, this new “doctor” has lots of wonderful plans for the public transport industry, but like many of the young among us, this “doctor” is more interested in the urban lifestyle (KL & the Klang Valley), and in the flashy & fancy solutions (LRT, MRT) rather than the reliable and effective medicine (realistic solutions).

To borrow another analogy, SPAD is pumping the public transport industry full of steroids to make it look big & strong, instead of cutting the fat & improving fitness, to make the industry lean, mean, and healthy.

Ok, enough with the analogies. The article is after the jump: